Partition Wizard – BAD BAD BAD

22 04 2010

When I setup a system, I like to partition the drive – dividing the drive into many multiple logical drives.  This makes backing up and restoring data easy.  I was liking Partition Wizard for the last few months .. until I lost data.  Warning – stay away from this program.

Partition Magic (PM) was my favorite tool for the job.  I’ve been using it since version 1.0 15+ years ago.  However, after Norton bought the company who made it, PowerQuest, R&D stopped .. cold.  PM v8.0 has problems – with drives over 500GB it complains about the partition information being bad.  Of course, it’s wrong.  Also, for PM8 to work correctly, you had to boot to DOS or in my case, Windows 98se dos prompt.  This I didn’t mind.  However, other partition managers could run from Windows or had a bootable CD.  The other problem PM8 has is that it can’t resize NTFS partitions made with Windows 7.  You see, Microsoft secretly changes the NTFS specifications for each new version of Windows and PM8 can’t handle Win7 – only up to Vista.

For now, I’m sticking with Gnome Partition Editor (GPartEd).  The current one seems pretty stable although I do admit having problems with an old version about a year ago.  However, it seems that the open source community has worked out those bugs.

I can also recommend Acronis products.  I used one of their products – the one OEMed to Seagate that comes in retail versions of their hard drives.  It works pretty well.  I partitioned a number of drives and it worked just fine.

I like to partition a drive in this way:
A.  Primary partition #1 – first bootable operating system.
B.  Primary partition #2 – 2nd OS (if necessary)
C.  Primary partition #3 – 3rd OS (if necessary)
D.  Rest of drive is an extended partition
E.  Logical drive #1 – Applications, FAT32, 10-20 GB large.
F.  Logical drive #2 – Data, FAT32, preferably.

Why do I like FAT32?
1. Speed (2x the speed of NTFS)
2. Compatibility w/ all operating systems.
3. No pesky ACL (permissions)

As with all products in this category – be sure to backup your data first.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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41 responses to “Partition Wizard – BAD BAD BAD”

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